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What Does Ah Mean On A Battery?

An ampere hour, which is abbreviated as Ah or amp hour, is the amount of energy charge in a battery that allows one ampere of current to flow for a 60-minute period.

An ampere is a unit used to measure the electron flow or current rate in an electrical conductor. One ampere of current symbolizes one coulomb of electrical charge going past one specific point in one second. A milliampere hour or mAh is 1,000th of an Ah and is often used as a measure of charge for notebook computer batteries. The mAh offers an indication of the length of time it will take for the computer to operate on battery power without the need to recharge. Using the best battery maintainer to recharge your battery is the safest way.

What Does Ah Mean On A Battery

What Does Ah Mean On A Battery

Understanding Amp Hours

If you have a 100 Amp Hour battery, the battery will provide 5 amps of current for twenty hours and maintain a voltage above 10.5.

People commonly assume that the 100 Amp Hour battery will also provide an hour’s worth of 100 amps. However, this is not accurate, actually, this type of battery may also give around 40 minutes of consistent service at 100 amps. This is because of a common trait connected to lead acid batteries; specifically, the battery capacity will go down as the discharge rate increases.

In other words, it’s important to remember that the connection between battery capacity and the rate of discharge are not proportionate. This theory is described as Peukert’s Law.

Additional Amp Hour Rates

Amp hour specification on a battery that is 12 volts is usually based on a 20-hour rate. This is a standard specification, which means that the battery labels don’t commonly provide this information. With that being said, it’s best to be aware that there aren’t many deviations from this norm.

A few battery manufacturers will provide different amp hour specification rates. For instance, five and ten amp hour rates are pretty common. In the instance of a battery manufacturer that offers 100 AH batteries on a five-hour rate, you can rely on the battery to provide 20 amps for five hours before dipping below 10.5 volts.

Parallel vs Series

Series batteries are conductively couples from end to end. For instance, if you have two AA batteries with a 1.5 voltage attached, the positive terminal of one battery is connection to the negative terminal of the other battery. The voltage measurements across the connected batteries should be 3.0V.

Batteries that are parallel-connected are side by side. If you take the same two 1.5V AA batteries place a piece of copper across both of the positive terminals of the battery, then take another copper piece across both negative terminals, the total voltage will still be 1.5V. However, the charge will last twice as long when you’re providing a device with battery power.

The batteries you can easily purchase these days, 10.8V or 18V battery packs, which are also known as 12V Max and 20V Max in the United States, are build with 3.6V lithium-ion cells. 12V batteries have three cells each; 18V/20V battery packs have five cells each.

You can also choose from a high-capacity battery pack, such as a 3.0Ah or 4.0Ah, which contains double the number of battery cells as 1.5Ah and 2.0Ah battery packs. A 2.0Ah battery pack have five 3.6V cells, and each of these cells has a 2.0Ah capacity, connected in succession. 4.0Ah battery packs have two sets of five batteries that are connected in a parallel position.

Battery Power

When it comes to battery packs for power tools, the power equations are no so simple. For instance, where 4.0Ah=2.0Ah times two. While it’s true that a 4.0Ah battery has twice as many cells as a 2.0Ah pack, the controls and circuitry are often different.

This doesn’t just refer to runtime. A higher capacity battery pack can deliver power using additional channels. Lithion batteries can be damaged when you overdraw current from them, which means modern battery packs have security features in place to keep you safe during use. If a power tool wants to draw more current than it’s supposed to, control circuitry will turn the tool off until the machine cools down or the circuitry load is reduced.

For example, if a 2.0Ah battery pack is limited so that a consistent current flow can’t go above 1.0A to protect the cells, a 4.0Ah battery pack could be designed. The design consists of each groups of cells which are programmed to deliver a maximum continuous current of 1.0Ah.

With the two groupings coupled together in parallel, the battery pack could then support a maximum current draw of 2.0A. However, it’s not very likely you’re going to see battery packs advertised to deliver 100% more power than smaller batteries with the same voltage. If you don’t regard engineering limits that dictate the design of battery packs, power tools aren’t equipped to handle 100% more power.

If you have a compact battery pack, you’ll see a consistent current draw of 1.0A. This is a higher performing capacity battery pack which can support a maximum current draw of about 1.2A. If the tool that is using these batteries doesn’t gain extra power through extended capacity battery packs, the total runtime will be extended. When battery cells positioned in parallel share the total power load, loss is reduced. More efficiently can enable double-capacity battery packs to give more than double the overall battery runtime.

How Long Will The Battery Last Due to Amp Hours?

You can determine the average capacity of one battery when comparing it to another battery. However, it can be challenging to determine how long the battery will last. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the AH rating is based on a certain time period and current draw. Due to Peukert’s Law, the relationship is not a linear one. This means that the calculations from this equation aren’t always practical. Also, current draw isn’t usually consistent in most vehicle applications. There are times when all the lights are on, and other times when they are not. This significantly dynamic setting makes it harder to determine how long a battery will last.

Remember the AH hours is a guideline that is useful for battery power comparisons. When you’re determining which batteries are best for long-term use, the Amp Hour specification will let you know that a 120 amp battery has a longer “life” than an 80 amp hour battery. This can help you choose the right batteries for your power tools and other devices that need long-term electric power.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist!

Selecting a new lawnmower is an important decision when you want to keep your lawn lush and healthy. Once you’ve chosen the right unit to purchase, you’ll want to make sure your mower lasts as long as possible. Regular servicing gives you several years of efficient use. Developing a maintenance schedule for your mower is important and keeps it intact for another season of maintaining your yard. There are some maintenance tips you should follow only once a year, while you should practice some maintenance methods every few months.

When the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to having your riding or walk-behind mower in great condition to evenly cut your grass and prevent dead grass, moisture collection and mold buildup.

Here are some practical tips to ensure your lawn mower is in great working condition for years.

Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist

Lawn Mower Maintenance Checklist

1. Clean the Engine

Start your mower maintenance process by cleaning the engine. Be sure to remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket wrench before cleaning the engine. This keeps the mower from starting while you’re cleaning it. After cleaning, use water and degreaser to clean the mower engine; you can use water from your garden hose. Make sure you avoid the air filter area while applying water and degreaser. Once the engine is clean, it will run cooler and more efficiently.

2. Recharge your Lawn Mower Battery

Using best battery maintainer to recharge your lawn mower battery is the important things,

2. Change Your Oil Filter

If your mower has a paper filter, make sure you replace it and see that the paper edges are facing outward. If the mower has a sponge filter that is soaked with oil, remove the filter and wash it thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure the filter dries completely and add some clean oil to the filter before placing it back in the mower.

 2. Empty the Fuel

Make sure you empty all fuel from the tank of your mower and add new fuel. Keep in mind that before you start the unit, you’ll have to prime your mower to start. If your lawnmower runs or surges on primer alone, you’ll need to have further fuel system work done on your unit. If this applies to your lawnmower, contact the service engine department for your mower engine model.

If you have a gas-powered lawnmower, remember to take out any fuel that was left in the tank before you put the unit into storage for the winter. Old fuel will go bad and corrode the inside of the mower, so be sure to add new fuel to your mower at the start of the new mowing season.

3. Clean the Undercarriage

To keep rust and clear the discharge chute, make sure the bottom side of the mower is as clean as the inside. Then, you’ll need to clean all the debris from the undercarriage. Remove mud build-up and old grass from the mower with a wire brush or putty knife.

4. Sharpen the lawn mower Blade

Sharpen the lawn mower Blade

Sharpen the lawn mower Blade

It’s important to make sure the lawn mower blades are sharp. This keeps your mower running correctly and helps your grass to grow stronger.

If you mow your lawn with blunt blades, it will damage the grass instead of cutting it evenly. This damages the plants and makes them weaker and more susceptible to disease. To sharpen the blades, wear thick gloves and take the mower blade from the unit by unscrewing the bolts that hold the blades in place. Put the blade in a vise and put on safety glasses to avoid eye damage from metal shards.

With a hand grinder, grind the blade parallel to the original angle removing as little metal as you can. Be sure to clean the debris and dirt from the blade.

It’s best to sharpen your blades as least once a year to ensure they are ready to use at the start of mowing season.

If the blades are bent, you can try to hammer them back into shape. If the blades can’t be repaired, it’s best to replace them with a new set.

3. Inspect and Clean the Belt

If your mower is self-propelled, remove the belt cover to inspect and clean the pulley assemblies and belt. If the belts are worn or cracked, you’ll want to replace the belts as soon as possible.

4. Replace the Spark Plug

Before you replace the spark plug, make sure you check its gap. Next, screw the new plug-in and make sure it’s extra tight. Be sure to tighten ¼ to 1/3 turn more if you have a spark plug socket, then attach the spark plug wire.

5. Change The Oil

To change the oil on your mower, turn the engine on for about 15 minutes beforehand. This loosens the debris and sludge in the engine and allows you to change the oil more efficiently. If your mower has a dipstick, title your mower on the side and drain it using the dipstick tube. If your mower doesn’t have a dipstick, look for the drain plug under the unit. Then, place a drain pan under the mower and drain the oil from the unit. When all the oil is drained, replaced your drain plug and refill the tank with new mower oil.

6. Check The Tires

If you have a riding mower, check the tires to ensure they are fully inflated. This helps the lawn mower efficiently each time you use it. This is also true when it comes to other types of lawn mowers if the device has inflatable tires. It’s important to check the tires at the end of mowing season as well. This helps you prepare the appliance for storage and keeps the mower intact for the next season.

7. Remove the Fuel

Finally, you should inspect your lawn mower for any oil or fuel leaks. A brief evaluation will also let you know if there is any damage to the lawn mower. Once your device is in working order, you can safely cut your grass and keep your lawn looking great. Exercising lawn maintenance tips at least once a year is ideal for protecting the mower and keeping it working at its best for years to come.

Car Alarm Keeps Going Off!!! Why And What To Do?

There is probably nothing more annoying than a car alarm that does not stop. The constant and repetitive shrill is enough to make your ears bleed. The job of a car alarm is to protect your car, but why does it sometimes go off continually and is there anything you can do to stop it?

Car Alarm Keeps Going Off

Car Alarm Keeps Going Off

How does a car alarm work?

A car alarm is designed to go off when it senses an intrusion. This is due to shock sensors that are designed into the car. They are designed to go off anytime a loud noise or force hits the car. Car alarms are also designed to go off if someone tries to open the locked door while the alarm is engaged.

Some cars use an alarm system that is voltage based. These types of sensors are triggered when there is a change in voltage, such as a door being opened and a light turning on.

Car alarms are turned on when you press the button on your key fob. The alarms are also turned off in the same way. So, if your alarm does not turn off, you have a noisy problem.

So, what can cause your alarm to keep going off?

1.Malfunctioning Key Fob

A malfunctioning key fob is a common cause of the car alarm repeatedly going off. If the key fob is not working properly, then it could be sending the wrong signals to your car. The mixed signals then cause the alarm to go off.

You should first try to fix this by replacing the batteries in the key fob. Simply open the key fob cover ad check the battery size. You should be able to buy replacement batteries anywhere batteries are sold. If you cannot find the right size, go to your local dealership and purchase them there.

If you still have issues after replacing the battery, try using a scanner to see if it will give you a code for the problem. You can also try and reset the key fob and see if that helps.

2.Check your car’s battery

The condition of your car’s battery can affect your alarm. This can happen in a few different ways. If your car’s battery is starting to die out, your alarm could go off when you try and start it. This was designed to alert the owner to the fact that the battery needs attention.

You can easily use a voltmeter to check the status of your car’s battery.

You should also check the battery’s terminals. If the terminals are rusty or corroded, that will prevent the battery from sending the needed amount of power out when you turn your car on.

Rusty terminals may also send out a low battery signal, which will cause your alarm to go off as well.

If your battery is running out, the good way to do is recharge it with the best battery maintainer, it will help you alarm working correctly.

3.A Faulty Hood Latch Sensor

Your car’s hood latch sensor may not seem to be related to your car alarm, but it actually can affect it.

If your car’s hood latch sensor is damaged or dirty, it can cause your alarm to go off repeatedly. If debris and grime are not regularly cleaned from the latch you will get build up. This build up prohibits the hood from properly closing. This makes it seem as if someone is trying to open the hood of your car, and the result is a car alarm that goes off.

Likewise, if the latch is damaged. You will not be able to properly close your hood and the result is an annoying car alarm.

What Can You Do When Car Alarm Going Off?

What Can You Do When Car Alarm Going Off

What Can You Do When Car Alarm Going Off

When your car alarm repeatedly goes off, it can be annoying. However, it should be a relatively easy problem to fix by yourself.

The first step is to check the battery in your key fob. Open the key fob up and replace the battery with a new one. You can easily get a new battery anywhere batteries are sold. You can also purchase new batteries from a dealership, although they tend to be a bit pricier.

You can also try and reset your battery and see if that helps take care of the problem. If you have a scanner at home, try and see if it will give you a code to let you know what the issue might be. A bidirectional scanner might also be able to do a factory reset for your key fob.

Check the car batteries as well. If the car battery is running low on juice, this can cause the car alarm to go off. In actuality, this is a good indicator. It is easy enough to use a voltmeter to check the life of your battery. Car batteries can be purchased and replaced very easily as well.

It is also a good idea to check the battery terminals. Be sure to clean off any corrosion or rust. This buildup does affect how the power is distributed throughout the car. Anything that interferes with this has the potential to set off the car alarm.

You should also check your hood latch sensor. If there is any debris or buildup, you will need to clean it. This buildup makes it appear that someone is trying to break into your car and ope the hood. This will set off the car alarm.

Also, if the latch sensor is damaged it will set off the alarm as well.

Still having alarm problems?

If after you have checked these potential problems and made sure everything is ok, you are still having alarm problems you need to bring your car to a professional. It is a good idea to have them run your car’s diagnostics to make sure that no other sensors are misfiring.

Conclusion

Car alarms are extremely useful tools. They help prevent theft by alerting us to intruders. And they also can potentially let us know when our cars may be having battery or sensor issues.

So, while a constant or random alarm may be annoying, it is trying to tell you something. It is worth the time and effort to find out why your alarm is constantly going off.

It may not only prevent your car from being stolen, it may save you from a dead battery and being stranded somewhere.

Causes Of Charging System Failure In Your Car (4 Reasons)

So, most people know that their car has a battery. They know that if the battery is dead then the car will not start. What some people don’t know is how that battery stays charged. Well, the way the battery stays charged is with the charging system in your car. What if that charging system fails, though? Well, then you will end up stranded with a dead battery. This is not a good thing. That is why if your check charging system light comes on or your battery light comes on, then you should get it checked out. In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at charging system failure. We are going to cover what it means when your check charging system light comes on, and what you should do about it when faced with that situation.

Causes Of Charging System Failure In Your Car

Causes Of Charging System Failure In Your Car

What is Charging System?

Before going into specific details on each part of the charging system, we are first going to give a rundown of the main components. The main parts of the charging system are of course the battery. Connected to the battery though is the alternator and electronic control module (ECU). These are connected with wires, so wires are also a part of the system. The charging system not only charges the battery though, but also helps run your lights, radio, and other electrical parts of the car while the engine is running. That is why flickering or dimming lights can be a sign of charging system problems. You can learn more about what dimming lights means though in this article.

What does it mean Charging System Failure

So, now we can move onto what does it mean when your check charging system light or battery light comes on. When either of these lights illuminates, it typically means that something is causing your battery not to charge while driving. This is a bad thing because if your battery is not charging, then your vehicle might die and lose power. A lot of times the charging system won’t go out all at once though. The light might flicker on the dashboard and then go off. Even if this happens, you need to get your car checked out as soon as possible. That is because your charging system could go out completely at any moment.

Should you drive

Should you drive when Charging System Failure

Should you drive when Charging System Failure

You may be wondering if you should keep driving then with the charging system light on. The answer depends on the situation. If it is coming on, and then going off, then yes you should be okay to drive to your shop. It is a good idea to turn off the radio, AC/Heat, and any other electronic components of your car that aren’t needed. That way if the system continues to stop working as you drive, then you will reduce the amount of power you are using. If the light is staying on continuously however, then you should not keep driving unless you are close to the shop. A car can not go far on just the battery. If the light is staying on, then you should pull over in a safe spot and call a tow truck to tow you to the shop to have your vehicle checked out.

Possible Problems

Now that we got the question of should you keep driving out of the way your next question is probably what is causing the light to come on? Well, there are a variety of things that can lead to the charging system to fail. Some are easy to check, while others can be more difficult. The common reasons for charging system failure are….

  1. Alternator Issues
  2. Battery Problems
  3. Drive Belt Issues
  4. Wire Faults
  5. Faulty Computer System

Below we are going to cover each one in detail, but if you think it is more likely one over the other, then you can jump to that section.

1. Alternator Issues And Battery Problems

The first problem we are going to talk about is alternator issues. The alternator is what is responsible for taking mechanical power from the engine and converting it into electrical power that can go into the battery. The alternator is a small generator for your car. A lot of times alternators will last for a while. They can easily go way past 100,000 miles and sometimes will last longer than the car. However, not all of them last that long and it might eventually go out. The good news is you can have the alternator tested easily.

The test to check the alternator is also the test to check the battery, so you can check both at the same time.

An old battery that isn’t holding a charge or not charging right is the second most common reason for charging system failure. You can use best battery maintainer to charge your battery if it not died.

After you have a shop test the battery and alternator you will know if that was the problem or not. If it is the battery or alternator, then you can have it replaced and your problem will be solved.

2. Drive Belt Issues

If the battery and alternator test fine, then the next most likely cause for charging issues is an old and worn drive belt. The drive belt is normally visible on the outside of the engine and it is connected to the engine, alternator, water pump, and other parts on pulleys. The drive belt spins and it is what cranks the alternator to help it generate power. Over time the drive belt will get old. When this happens it gets stretched out, and eventually breaks. If the drive belt is loose, then it might stop spinning the pulley on the alternator, which will cause a loss of power generation. This can happen for a few seconds, and then it might get a grip again and start spinning it again causing the light to go off.

Drive belts are another part on the car that lasts for a while, so sometimes it is easy to forget to check them. They don’t normally last as long as the alternator itself though. It is important to try to check the belts periodically. If you haven’t checked it in a while though, and the battery and alternator test fine, then it is likely a loose belt that is causing your charging problem. If it is, then you can have it replaced and be on your way.

3. Old Wires

If it isn’t one of the previous things, then the next thing you should check is the wiring. If the wires connecting the system are damaged, then it may stop working. A lot of times the wires will last the whole life of the vehicle, but sometimes they get to wear and damage.

When inspecting the wires in the system if you see corrosion or loose connections then you need to tighten the wire back down or replace it in the case of corrosion. Inspecting all the wires can be time-consuming and a hassle though, so hopefully, for you, it isn’t a wiring issue that is causing the charging system failure, but it is something to keep in mind and check if you can’t find any other problems.

4. Electronic Control Unit

The very last possible issue that you might be having is computer issues with the car. Sometimes computers can start acting funny and sending out the wrong signals. If you can not find any issues with the battery, alternator, drive belts, or wiring, then your problem might just be a faulty computer.

You can have the shop run a scan on the computer and see what it is saying. You can also have them reset it. The resetting might fix the problem and cause the light to stay off. This is the last thing you should do though because it is important to take your battery light or check charging system light serious because if you don’t you will end up stranded with a dead battery.

Conclusion

So, now you know what your check charging system or battery light means. You know that it means that your car is not charging the battery while running and everything is running off battery power. You know that this means that your car will die soon, so you should get it to a shop quickly and have it towed if the light is staying on. You also know the possible parts of the car that might be failing. You know the most likely candidates of issues are the alternator or battery. After those two things, it could also be an old drive belt or damaged wires. The last thing it could be is a faulty computer. Luckily for you, all these things are pretty easy to check and fix. So, the now you know what to do if your charging system fails.

Cause Of Lights Dimming In Car And What To Do?

So, you are driving your car and all of a sudden the lights start dimming or flicker. You wonder to yourself, what might be causing that to happen? Well, there is a handful of reason why your car lights might be dimming. In this article, we are going to look at all the common reasons that can cause lights dimming in your car. We will cover each one in detail. We will also explain possible solutions to the problem. Read on to learn the main causes for dimming lights in your vehicle.

Cause Of Lights Dimming In Car And What To Do

Cause Of Lights Dimming In Car And What To Do

Electrical

So dimming or flickering lights in your car or your headlight  is a somewhat common problem to have. This is especially true depending on the age of the car or the age of certain parts of the car. Flickering lights in your vehicle normally always indicates that there is an electrical problem going on. What exactly the problem is can vary though. A lot of times electrical problems can be hard to find. We will explain the best way though to start trying to figure out what electrical problem there is, so you can start looking in the right area.

Battery

The first electrical component you should think about if your car starts to have dimming lights is your battery. You should think about how old the battery is, and when it was last replaced. An old draining battery could be the cause of your dimming lights. If you have an old battery in your car, then it is a good spot to start when investigating why your lights are dimming.

The best way to investigate your battery is to have it tested. If you or a friend doesn’t have a battery tester, then you can take it to most any shop. At the shop a lot of times they will help test the battery for free.

They are willing to do this because they know that if it is bad you will most likely buy a new one from them, and also come back there for other services. The battery testing can tell you how well the battery is holding a charge, as well as how charged it is getting when full.

Old batteries don’t hold there charge as well and could drain faster then they can recharge while driving, so this is why your lights might flicker or dim. If the battery is not the issue, then you can move onto checking the next thing, which can also be checked while testing the battery. The best battery maintainer is suitable tool for this situation, you can use this tool to recharge your car battery.

Alternator

The next most common cause of dimming lights in your vehicle, if it has some age to it, is a failing alternator. A lot of times the alternator won’t go out completely but instead will fail intermittently. The period that it is not working is when the lights will dim or flicker while driving. That is because the alternator is what charges the battery and if it stops charging while driving, then the battery will drain.

A lot of times though if the alternator is an issue, then lights will start to come on, on your dash. For most vehicles, if the brake light and the battery light come on at the same time, that means the alternator is going out. Sometimes though these lights will only flicker on, and then go back out because the alternator will start working again. In the daylight that makes it so it might be hard to see the lights. When testing the battery, then can check the alternator and if it isn’t charging right, then the test will tell you. Then you can have it replaced.

Ground Wires

If the battery or the alternator isn’t the problems, then the problem might be in the ground wires. The ground wires are like the name suggest responsible for keeping the car grounded. If the vehicle is old, then the ground wires might have started to come loose. If that is the case, then it could cause the lights to flicker. This is especially a common problem if you notice the lights flickering when you hit a bump.

If you suspect faulty ground wires, then all you have to do is check them. If they are loose, then you can tighten them. They may not be loose though and instead be damaged. Sometimes part of the insulation on the wire might wear off, and the wire grounding out could cause the lights to dim or flicker. If the ground wires are damaged in any way, then you should have them replaced. This should solve the problem you are having dimming or flickering lights.

Voltage Regulator

The last component that might be having issues, if your car is older, and cause the lights to dim or flicker is your voltage regulator. This is a device that works with the alternator to help control the amount of voltage being put out. If too much or too little voltage is being put out, then it could cause your lights to dim or flicker. Normally this part last for a while though, but like anything man-made and mechanical, there is no set breaking point, so it doesn’t hurt to check it if the other things on this list aren’t the issue.

The voltage regulator can be tested at any shop, and a lot of times it can be tested as part of testing the battery. If it is the issue, then you can have it replaced just like you can the alternator.   These four things are the main things to check if your vehicle has some age too it. If your vehicle is not old though, then you need to ask yourself a different question. That is have you installed anything new?

Aftermarket Equipment

If you answer yes to the previous question, then that might just be the reason that your car is having flickering or dimming lights. Installing new aftermarket equipment can easily be the reason your car’s lights are dimming or flickering. That is for a variety of reasons. The first is maybe the part didn’t get installed correctly. If a wire is loose, then it could lead to the problem at hand. Also, if the wires are not connected right, then that would explain the problem. If you have installed something new, then check it to make sure it was installed right.

If the aftermarket equipment was installed right, then you have to move on to the next question. That is can your car’s battery handle the extra load? If the aftermarket equipment is power-hungry, then the alternator and battery you have might not be able to keep up with the draw of the equipment. If that is the case, then flickering lights can occur. Look at the specs of the equipment and see how many draws you are adding. If it is a decent amount, then you might have to upgrade the battery to one with a higher complicity, so you can run all the equipment.

Conclusion

As you can see though from this list, most problems that relate to flickering and dimming lights aren’t major. The bad battery or alternator is the worst because this might lead to your car not starting. That is why it is a good idea to have them checked as soon as your lights start acting funny. The lights dimming or flickering is a good warning sign that you should take seriously so you don’t end up stranded. Sometimes though, it can be hard to figure out the exact cause of electrical issues that is what dimming lights indicate. That is why it is key to ask yourself is your car old or did you install something new, so you can start looking for the possible problem in the right order.

What Is The Average Lifetime Of Brake Rotors?

Most people that drive know that they have to change their brake pads, but not everyone know that you also have to change the brake rotors every so often. Some people don’t even know what exactly the brake rotors are. Well, today in this article we are going to explain what brake rotors are, what they do, and the average life of brake rotors. That way you can take a look at yours and next time you change your brake pads you can decide if your rotors need to be changed too. Read on to learn everything you need to know about brake rotors and have your frequently asked questions answered.

What is the Average Lifetime of Brake Rotors

What is the Average Lifetime of Brake Rotors

What are Brake Rotors

Before getting into the lifespan of brake rotors we are first going to talk about what brake rotors are. Most people know about brake pads on their vehicle, but not everyone realized that your brakes have brake rotors as well to get your vehicle to stop. The brake rotor is a metal round disc that is connected to the wheel. It is what the calipers go over the top of and what the brake pads clamp onto to get your vehicle to stop. The rotor is the metal disc that you see when you look at your car’s wheels thru the hub cap. They start off silver and clean but normally end up getting rusty looking and dirty from the grim of the road and the dust from the brake pads.

Types of Rotors

Now that you know what the rotor is we can actually talk about the different types of rotors. Talking about the different types before how long the rotor last is important because different types last different lengths of time. In other words, the type of rotor affects the average lifetime of the rotor. There are four main types of brake rotors. They are drilled, slotted, slotted and drilled, smooth, and two pieces floating. We are going to talk about each type in the following paragraphs.

Drilled

Drilled rotor

Drilled rotor

The first type of rotor we are going to talk about are drilled rotors. They are called this because holes are precisely drilled into the rotor to prevent heat from building up. They also prevent gas buildup when braking. Another benefit to drilled rotors is that they work better in wet conditions. That is because water will not pool up on the surface of the rotor. Instead, it can escape thru the holes making it easier to stop. Drilled rotors have less heat than normal rotors, but they still may not last as long because the holes in the rotor can affect the strength of them. Drilled rotors are more likely to crack than certain other types, but they are still a good rotor option.

Slotted

Slotted rotors have a lot of the same benefits as drilled rotors. That is because they have slots in them that reduce the amount of surface that comes into contact with the brake pads when braking. This means that less heat is built up and also dust has areas to escape so gas doesn’t build up. The slots in the rotors also allow water to pass over the rotor without pulling. The benefit of the slotted rotor over the drilled rotors though is that the rotor is still one solid piece of metal. This adds strength to the rotor and reduces the likely hood of the rotor cracking. This added benefit plus the other benefits make the slotted rotor the most popular rotor for those that are seeking a better than the standard rotor.

Slotted and Drilled

Waiting for assembly of the car brake system

Waiting for assembly of the car brake system

The next type of rotor that we are going to look at is the slotted and drilled. This combines the slotted rotor with the drilled rotor that we have talked about previously. The name should make that obvious to you. By combining the slotted with the drilled you get the most benefit of reduced heat that comes from the drilled while still having some of the strength of the slotted. Since this kind has two processes that go into making them they can be costly, but are a good rotor and typically last a decent amount of time.

Smooth

Moving along the next kind of rotor we are going to talk about is the most common and that is smooth. You can also call this the standard rotor. Smooth rotors are just one flat round disc of metal. It is what comes on most cars. However, smooth isn’t always the best. They are okay for none aggressive driving conditions such as a luxury car cruiser, but in aggressive driving, they can wear out quicker than others. That is because all the brake pad is contacted all the surface and this takes metal off the pad and the rotor. The faster you are going when you begin to stop the more wear that occurs on the rotor. Smooth rotors still last longer than brake pads, but might not last as long as some of the other options depending on how you drive.

Two-Piece Floating

The last brake rotor style is two-piece floating. This kind is two pieces and it reduces the heat and friction because the rotor can give some with the brake pad. They are great for hot conditions where the rotor might expand and for stopping fast but are not good in the cold. Salt can be a real problem because since they are floating it can get into the rotor and cause damage or worse cause you not to stop. Two-piece floating rotors aren’t seen very often, but it is an option to keep in mind.

How long do they last

So, now that we have covered all the different types of rotors we can start talking about the average lifespan of brake rotors. Well, the answer to this is hard because a lot depends on your driving style and conditions. Most rotors can last 30,000 miles to 70,000 miles depending on how you drive. The things that can help you rotor last longer though is to change your brake pads when needed. That is because old pads can cut into and gauge rotors. This will ruin them. Also, have rotors turned every time you have pads changed. That way your rotors will wear evenly and not get warped.

The things with driving condition and style that affect rotors are if you drive fast and then brake hard. This is especially true if you accelerate quickly and then brake quickly. Also, if you drive in a lot of stops and go traffic where you brake a lot, your rotors will wear out faster than if you have a lot of freeway driving. The more you use your brakes the faster your rotors will wear out. A good key though is that rotors should last about three times as long as your brake pads, so if you can determine how long a set of brake pads last for you, that should give you a rough estimate of how long your rotors will last.

Conclusion

So, now you know the average lifetime of brake rotors. You know that most brake rotors will have a lifespan of 30,000 miles to 70,000 miles. You also know some of the factors that affect the life of your brake rotors. Lastly, you know the different kinds of rotors that are available and which ones last longer or shorter. Now that you have read this article you can find the best rotors for you and your need and also determine if you need to change your brake rotors or just have them turned. You now have all the FAQ about brake rotors answered.

What Are Cold Cranking Amps?

When looking at batteries for vehicles there are a few important numbers. The main ones are cold cranking amps and reserve power. All car batteries are 12-volt, and most are actually slightly more than this when new. It is important to know all the features of a battery when picking it out.

Things such as the type of battery design are as well as the reserve capacity and cold cranking amps. Knowing these specific things about the battery won’t really help you though if you don’t know what these things are. That is why in this article we are going to talk about what is actually meant by cold cranking amps. After reading this article you will have all your questions answered about cold cranking amps.

What are Cold Cranking Amps

What are Cold Cranking Amps

What are they

So, before getting into specific questions about cold cranking amps we are first going to look at what cold cranking amps are. This term is used a lot and many people don’t know the actual meaning of what it is.

Well, cold cranking amps by definition is how many amps a battery can put out at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds while still maintaining 7.2 volts of power. The reason that 7.2 volts are the number for the measure is that that is 1.2 volts per cell of the battery.

If you need maintain your car battery, the best battery tender is the perfect choice.

Why Cold Cranking Amps Important

So, now that you know what cold cranking amps actually are, why is cold used?

Well, starting a vehicle in the cold is harder than in the warmth. That is why cold is used for the measurement.

It is important to know how many amps a battery can put out in extremely cold conditions. Yes, some places get colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is a good baseline measurement number to give you an idea of how the battery is designed and how well it will perform in extreme conditions.

Checking the voltage level in a car battery

Checking the voltage level in a car battery

Should I buy based on CCA

So, now that you know what cold cranking amps are or CCA for short, the question becomes should you buy a battery based off them. A lot of people when going battery shopping say that they are going to buy the battery with the coldest cranking amps, but is this a good method.

The answer a lot of times is NO. That is because most vehicles don’t actually see 0-degree weather. If you live in southern California or Florida for instance, then the temperatures never get that cold. What about if you live in South Dakota, but are buying a battery for a Corvette or sports car, then it doesn’t make sense to focus on CCA either because a Corvette isn’t going to drive in the cold.

The reason you should focus on CCA is if you live in an area that sees cold and if you are buying a battery for a vehicle that will be driving in the cold. Having the manufactures recommended cold cranking amps battery is good enough in most places.

If you live in an area where it gets cold you can spend extra to get a stronger battery, but if you aren’t going to be driving the vehicle in a cold area, then you don’t need to go overkill on the cold cranking amp power of the battery. You will just be spending more money on a battery that you won’t get the full benefit from.

Why did CCA become popular

So, if more cold cranking amps isn’t always needed, then why did it become popular. Well, the reason is that the brands advertise that more is better. They also compete with each other and brand x will say that they have more cold cranking amps than brandy to make their battery seem better. They do the same thing with cranking amps or marine cranking amps. This is just another measure of how much power a battery can put out under certain conditions. For regular cranking amps or marine cranking amps, it is the same test as CCA, but it is done at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This means this number will be bigger than the CCA number because it is easier for the battery to work in warmer temperatures.

Then one brand will say their battery has more cranking amps than another to make their battery seem better. More is normally better, but sometimes more is just overkill. If you have a little 4 cylinder engine, then you don’t need as much power to start it as a V8. If you buy a battery that can start a V8, then you are just spending more money than you need too.

Why should you look at CCA

So, if the numbers are inflated for marketing purposes and more weight is put on the CCA due to marketing, then why is it important. Well, some brands have started to add all kinds of cranking numbers to their batteries such as pulse crank or hot crank. These numbers have no set standard, so you can’t compare one batteries number to another and it is balanced. With cold cranking amps that is not the case. Cold cranking amps are measured the same no matter the battery brand. That means that you can compare apples to apples. That is why cold cranking amps is a good starting point when comparing batteries. It tells you when the battery is brand new and fully charged on strong it is. If one battery is way stronger than another, then it will probably stay stronger throughout the life of the battery. The key thing when buying a battery is finding one that will maintain the CCA years down the road that it has at the start. Life of a car battery is the real thing to focus on, but CCA is a good starting point when comparing batteries and trying to find one to buy. The key is don’t go overboard and spend more than you have to just because it has a lot of cold cranking amps.

Conclusion

So, now you know what cold cranking amps are. You know that CCA is a test to measure how many amps a battery can put out for 30 seconds at 0 degrees Fahrenheit while still maintaining 7.2 volts of charge. You also know that you don’t need to solely focus on a lot of CCA if you don’t live in an area that gets cold or are buying a battery for a car that won’t see cold driving. You know that you should focus on your manufactures specific in most situations so you don’t spend more money on the battery than you need to. Cold cranking amps are used for marketing to get you to buy more of a battery than you need, but really they should just be used to give you an apples to apple comparison on how strong two batteries are.

Some Reasons That Why My Charging System Is Failure

There is nothing worse than sliding the key i to the ignition and finding that your car will not start. Usually when this happens, there were some warning signs along the way. Maybe you missed them or maybe you didn’t want to think about it. You should always pay attention to those signs.

If you are having trouble starting your car, it could very well be a problem with the battery or the alternator. It is important to know what is wrong so that you can take the steps necessary to fix it.

Charging system failure

Charging system failure

What is the charging system in my vehicle?

All vehicles have a charging system. This system is responsible for keeping a charge in the battery and providing electricity for the radio, lights and other features your car may have. There are four parts to a charging system in today’s cars.  The system is comprised of a battery, an alternator, wires and an Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Each part is responsible for certain functions and together they keep your car running.

 

What the charging system in vehicle is

What the charging system in vehicle is

Alternator

The alternator is responsible for creating electrical power. This power is used to run accessories and charge the battery. It turns the mechanical energy that comes from the engine’s crankshaft into electrical energy.

Electronic Control Unit

The Electronic Control Unit, also known as the regulator in older model cars, is responsible for controlling the alternator’s output. Its purpose is to sense when the battery needs charging or when there is a need for electricity.

Battery

This is where the electric power is converted and run through. The job of the battery is to start the engine of your vehicle. The battery is also responsible for getting power to the accessories even if the engine is not running.

What are some warning signs that my charging system is struggling?

One of the first signs that you will see if your system is struggling will most likely be the warning light on your dashboard. Most newer cars have his type of system. If you see that light come on, it means you need to check it out. This warning light may be called “Alt”, “Bat”, or “Gen”. If this light comes on while you are driving and the engine is running, it means there is a problem with the charging system.

What are some reasons why my charging system is failing?

There could be a few reasons why your charging system is failing. It is important to know what is wrong so that you can fix it.

Alternator

If your alternator is weak or low, you will need to have it replaced. You can test the strength of your alternator by using a voltmeter. If the reading is low, your mechanic will replace it. This is a common cause of charging system failure, so it makes sense to check the alternator right away.

Battery

If your battery is low, your car can experience problems and you will see that warning light come on. You can use a voltmeter to test your battery’s strength. If it is low, you need to replace the battery. Using the best battery tender to recharge it is the best way to maintain your battery.

Drive Belt Problems

The drive belt in a car’s charging system help the alternator. If the belt is worn or failing, then the alternator cannot function properly. This is another reason why your system might fail. If your light comes on, it could be a bad drive belt and your mechanic will need to replace it for you.

Corrosion

Corroded wires and connections can definitely be a reason that your car’s charging system is failing. You will need to clean your connections and battery clamps. You should also inspect all the wiring to be sure you do not have any loose or frayed wires.

Faulty Computer

As with any electronics, it is possible that your car’s computer system is somehow failing. Your mechanic will need to run diagnostics to check this and to make sure there are no other possible reasons why your system is failing.

Points to Remember

Your car relies on its electric system to generate the power it needs to run the engine, as well as run the accessories that go along with a car. This includes exterior lights, interior lights, the dashboard lights, the radio and phone chargers.

Your car’s charging system is made up of four different parts; a battery, an alternator, wires and an Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Each part is responsible for certain functions and together they keep your car running. If any of these parts start to breakdown, it will affect the whole system.

If you notice that it is hard to start your car or if the lights dim, it is time to check your system. You will even see the warning light on your dashboard light up. It is crucial that you have your car’s system checked right away.

A car’s charging system can fail due to several reasons, so it is important to narrow it down. It is possible that you are having trouble with your alternator. A test with a voltmeter can tell you if it needs to be replaced. Similarly, a voltmeter can also check your battery to see if it is in need of replacing.

It is also possible that your car may have a failing drive belt. This would impede the work of the alternator. Your car may also have corrosion on the wires and connections. This would prohibit the energy to flow properly.

And it is possible that your car’s computer system is faulty. This needs to be determined by a mechanic so that other issues can be ruled out.

Final Thoughts

Nobody likes to be stranded. If you notice that your car’s charging system is starting to failing and you do not take steps to correct it, you will probably find yourself stranded someday. You should never ignore warning signs when they pop up on your dashboard. Regular maintenance can go a long way towards making sure everything is running smoothly under the hood.

Can Airbags Be Replaced After An Accident?

Perhaps one of the best inventions for cars and passengers has been the airbag. This amazing technology has saved lives and helped to reduce injuries in motor vehicle accidents.  Hopefully you will never have need of them, but they are always there for you -every time you get behind the wheel.

But what happens if you are unfortunately in an accident? Hopefully you are ok and so are your passengers. But now you need to have your car repaired. Or maybe it was just a small fender bender. In any case, if your airbag was deployed, what can be done?

Can Airbags be replaced after an accident

Can Airbags be replaced after an accident

How does a car airbag system work?

The main objective of an airbag is to slow down the passenger’s forward motion in the event of a collision as evenly and as quickly as possible. Ideally this happens in seconds. There are actually 3 parts to an airbag system that help accomplish this crucial safety feature.

  1. The airbag is made from a very thin, nylon fabric. This nylon fabric is then folded into the dashboard, steering wheel, or door panels.
  2. There is a sensor in place that will tell the airbag when it should deploy. This is set to happen when there is a collision with a force equal to running into a brick wall at about 10 miles an hour. A mechanical switch is then activated when there is a mass shift that closes an electrical contact. This signals the sensor that a crash has happened. The sensors get this information from an accelerometer that is built in to a microchip.
  3. The car’s airbag system inflates when it reacts with sodium and potassium to produce nitrogen gas.

What happens after your airbags are deployed

Airbags are deployed

Airbags are deployed

If you do have an accident, there are a few steps to take. First, check for injuries and call for help from the police and 911. Make sure that your car’s engine is turned off. Most likely you might need to have your car towed to a mechanic.

If your car’s airbags have deployed, it is a common misconception that your car is automatically totaled. There are actually three options for determining what happens to your car next. You will need to have your insurance company representative and mechanic look at the car to decide the best course of action.

The three possibilities for a car with deployed airbags

1.Sometimes the car is totaled. This is not necessarily because the airbag was deployed, but because of the cost involved in resetting it or replacing it. This is a decision your insurance adjuster will make and it takes into account how old your car is, how much any other repairs might cost and how much your car is worth.

2.Sometimes a deployed airbag can actually be reset. If there has not been any damage to the air bag, some makes and models of car will allow for it to be reset back into its module and then the mechanic will have to reset the sensors.  This needs to be done by an auto mechanic to ensure it is done properly. Your safety is priceless.

3.And there are instances when a deployed airbag can be replaced. This means that the used airbag is removed and a brand new one is installed. A mechanic will have to do this for you. It will involve placing a new airbag into the module and making sure the sensors are reset.

How much does it cost to have the airbags replaced?

If your car’s airbag has deployed and it is decided that it is safe to replace it, the average cost is between $3000 to $5000, per airbag. This price can vary. Just remember that you are not simply having the nylon air bag replaced. You are having the nylon replaced, you are having any storage modules repaired, the sensors are replaced and you will need to have the system recalibrated. Where the airbag is located in your car is another factor in the total price of replacement. Some modules are easier to get to than others.

What are some other reasons why my airbag needs to be replaced?

Being in an accident is just one reason why your airbag may deploy and need to be repaired or replaced. There are some other reasons why this could happen as well.

1. Your airbag may need to be replaced due to a recall from the manufacturer.

In this case the manufacturer may have noticed an issue with some part of your vehicle’s airbag system. They will send you a recall notice instructing you on how to get your airbags updated and replaced. This usually happens at no cost to you. Be sure to follow the recall instructions as soon as possible.

2. There may be a problem with some of the parts in the airbag system.

Usually you will know there is a problem because the airbag or SRS light will light up on your dashboard. There are many parts of the airbag system that could have a problem. This could be a blown fuse, one of the connectors might have been left disconnected after a repair.  It might also be because of a sensor wire is damaged or there is a short in the wiring.

Final Thoughts

Airbags are an incredible piece of automotive technology. Their use in automobiles have drastically reduced the number of fatalities in auto accidents and they have reduced the severity of injuries. The use of airbags is not something that should be compromised on, ever.

Due to improvements and advancements in technology, a deployed airbag does not necessarily mean your car is totaled. In fact, an insurance adjuster takes several things into account when deciding the fate of a car with a deployed airbag.

Today it is very possible to either repair or replace the deployed airbag. You will need to take your car to a mechanic to have them determine the best course of action. Just remember, your safety and that of your passengers is ultimately the most important.

Starter Engages When Battery Is Connected

Few things are as frustrating as when your car or truck will not start. It costs you time and money trying to figure out what is wrong. If you are lucky, you narrow it down to a dead battery.

But what if after you replace the battery you have a different problem arise? Sometimes you may find that your starter is engaging, even though you aren’t turning the ignition key. What causes this to happen? And what can you do to fix this?

 

Starter engages when battery is connected

Starter engages when battery is connected

How do the starter and battery work?

In order to understand the possible problems with your starter, you need to understand how it all works. The starter has a terminal that connects it to the battery. There is also a smaller terminal on the starter. This smaller terminal is the ignition switch that kicks the solenoid to engage the starter.

Starter and battery diagram

Starter and battery diagram

What to do if your starter stays engaged?

If you have replaced your starter, you may find you have this problem. If your starter engages when the battery is connected, but you aren’t turning the ignition key, you need to check a few things out. This is an issue that must be resolved.

  1. Over tightening

It is possible that you have over tightened the post on the smaller terminal. This is the terminal that signals to the solenoid to start the ignition. When this happens, the starter is getting the signal to start all the time.

It is very possible that when you over tightened the screws, and this has also cracked the solenoid case. You will need to replace these parts.

Btw, you can use battery maintainer to maintain your car battery,

What are some other reasons why my starter stays engaged?

  1. Oil or fluid leaks. If your car is showing any signs of having fluids or oil leaks, this could be causing an internal problem. Often times these kinds of leaks can and do ruin parts of the engine and can lead to fires. This type of corrosion can lead to starter issues.
  2. Loose mounting. It is crucial to check the mounting if you have recently replaced your  starter.
  3. Over tightening. If you are installing a new starter yourself, you should not use an impact wrench.  You should only hand tighten the bolts on the starter. And when you are tightening them, be sure to alternate bolts as you work. This will help prevent over tightening and cracking of the mounting.
  4. Broken Gear. If your ignition switch is faulty, it is possible that this has happened because the pinion gear has had improper contact with the starter ring gear. You would see that the pinion gear has severely damaged teeth all the way around it. This can also happen if you are trying to crank the engine, and it is already running.
  5. Poor Grounding. Mounting bases are crucial for starters to work correctly. They provide the electrical ground path to the starter. It is important that are clear and shiny. This ensures a smooth circuit.
  6. Loose electrical Connections. If the electrical connections are not securely fastened to the starter from the battery, the result can be arcing and burning.
  7. Melted terminals. If there is cranking of the engine, it can cause the terminals to overheat and melt. These terminals will need to be replaced.

It could be the starter solenoid.

The starter solenoid in your car is a relay. When you start your car, the battery sends electricity to the starter solenoid. The solenoid then waits to receive a signal from the ignition switch when you turn the key.

When voltage from the battery is sent to the solenoid, a switch is closed inside the solenoid and a current is sent to the starter.

So, how does the solenoid go bad?

There are 4 reasons why a solenoid goes bad. If any of these things have happened or you notice them, you will need to replace your solenoid.

Moisture

Once moisture gets inside the solenoid, it leads to corrosion. When this happens, it affects the electrical conductivity.

Overheating

When you turn your ignition key, it creates heat because the electrical current is pulled     through. If you hold the ignition switch on for an excessive amount of time, this causes the contacts to melt.

Overtightening

Again, overtightening when replacing the starter can cause damage to the starter. Make sure you do not use an impact wrench when replacing this part.

Incorrect Wiring

If you install the solenoid wrong, this can cause it to short out. When this happens, there will be internal damage to the wires.

Things to Remember

There is nothing more frustrating that a car that has trouble starting. And even though you may replace components such as battery and starter, you can still have an issue.

Having your car constantly engaged is also a problem. Your vehicle should only engage when you have turned the key. If it is happening without you doing this, there is a problem. Often times the problem is a faulty starter or solenoid. This is a repair you can do yourself with a few tools and a new part.

You should be careful if you are replacing your starter. You do not want to use an impact wrench. This will cause you to overtighten, and overtightening can cause cracks and damage.

Another problem to check for is damage due to moisture. If you notice excess moisture under the hood, this can lead to corrosion which causes the electrical conductivity to suffer.

Be sure to thoroughly check for loose connection from your starter terminals to your battery. Make sure that no wires are melted, damaged or loose.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing more frustrating than a car that won’t start, except perhaps a car that is always started. However, with a little bit of under the hood detective work, you can take steps to figure out the root cause. Just be sure to use care when handling your starter and be mindful of electricity.

Hopefully you will have your car back to starting, and stopping, correctly.

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